04/01/2012 // Dallas, Texas // kayvanwey // Kay Van Wey, Attorney at Law

Putting the brakes on distracted driving; 5 seconds is average time your eyes are off the road while texting. The United States is currently facing an epidemic that not only claims lives, but also tears families and entire communities apart. Distracted driving is not new, but as more people come to understand its dangers, the more they recognize change is needed.

Many states have passed laws against using cell phones while driving, and the federal government has issued regulations for commercial drivers to put their phones down while driving. But each day, people continue to suffer severe injuries or even die from distracted driving – this is an epidemic and we need to know the facts about distracted driving.

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on distracted driving statistics reveals that teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to use their cell phones or other electronic gadgets while driving. Distractions along with driver inexperience become a deadly combination for many teens and adults. An estimated 5,000 people in the United States die each year from distracted driving-related accidents, and an additional 448,000 are injured.

“If done often enough, driving distracted can become a habit. Before it becomes a habit, we need to educate drivers, especially teen drivers, about the dangers of distracted driving and urge them to not drive distracted,” says Dallas attorney Kay L. Van Wey.

Ms. Van Wey has dedicated her career to helping the unwitting victims of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. She has seen first-hand the destruction that a simple text message or phone call can cause in a person’s life and has represented the victims of distracted driving accidents.

“I realized that educating people about the dangers of distracted driving is the key to ending the epidemic. For that reason, I created Just Put It Down, a community service campaign to end distracted driving and save lives,” says Ms. Van Wey.

She also launched a website, www.justputitdown.com, where drivers can take the Just Put it Down Pledge to end distracted driving, share their own stories of distracted driving, and get free educational resources.

“As a busy mother, attorney, and consumer advocate, I used to be guilty of using my cell phone while driving, and I know how difficult it can be to not use your phone while driving. But the trade-off is that you may be saving a life, which is much more important than a text message or phone call,” says Ms. Van Wey.

Just Put It Down and Van Wey Law will be celebrating Distracted Driving Awareness Month throughout April. During this month, drivers who take the Just Put It Down Pledge will receive a free gift, compliments of Van Wey Law. To take the Pledge, visit www.justputitdown.com/take-the-pledge.

Ms. Van Wey has also written a book about the dangers of distracted driving entitled Distracted to Death: Stop Distracted Driving and Save Lives, which is available as a free download from www.vanweylaw.com.

Van Wey Law, PLLC, is a Dallas-based personal injury law firm. Lead attorney Kay L. Van Wey is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with 28 years of experience practicing law. As a strong supporter of consumer rights, Ms. Van Wey believes that educating the public is the key to ending the distracted driving epidemic and saving lives. She lives and encourages others to live the Just Put It Down motto—Just Put It Down, the life you save may be your own.

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